Apple recently announced the launch of the iTunes Store across Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and nine additional countries in Asia and is in the process of offering an incredible selection of local and international music from all the major labels and thousands of independent labels. The iTunes Store features local artists, including Jay Chou, Girls Generation and Andy Lau; international artists, including ADELE, The Beatles and Jason Mraz, and world-renowned classical musicians, including Lang Lang, Yo Yo Ma and Yuja Wang. Customers can choose from over 20 million songs available to purchase and download on the iTunes Store.
Apple is bringing the iTunes Store to users in Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Customers can also rent or purchase movies from the iTunes Store, with many available in stunning HD, from major studios, including 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures. The iTunes Store joins the revolutionary App Store, which offers more than 650,000 apps to consumers in 155 countries. However, though the App Store is now available in India, we've been left out again with the iTunes release.
Why is India still missing from receiving the iTunes Store?
Apple claims that the iTunes Store is the best way for iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music online. All music on the iTunes Store comes in iTunes Plus, Apple’s DRM-free format with high-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings.
iTunes in the Cloud lets you download your previously purchased iTunes music to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all your devices. In addition to this, music not purchased from the iTunes Store can gain the same benefits by using iTunes Match, a new service that stores your entire music library in iCloud for access at any time, from any iOS device. iTunes Match is available for purchase in the new countries added today.
iTunes 10.6.3 for Mac and Windows, includes the iTunes Store and is available as a free download from apple.com/asia/itunes. iTunes Store purchases require a valid credit card with a billing address in the country.
Though this is a great piece of news for users living in these countries, Apple has once again left out India from receiving the chance to legally download music from their iOS device. Though India does already have the App Store for purchasing applications for their iOS devices or Mac computers, it is a shame that India as an emerging market has been overlooked for being allowed to purchase music or videos directly from iTunes. This has left many users without a choice and more often than not, left them with the option to download music illegally.
With a vast amount of people purchasing iOS devices these days, especially the iPods and iPads, a fair share of users would like to support their favourite artist and digitally have their content available, instead of ripping it off the Internet. Hopefully, India will be amongst the countries that receive iTunes when they do decide to expand to other countries.
Let us know your thoughts regarding Apple leaving India out of the mix once more and do you think Apple should provide Indian users with the option for purchasing music and videos directly from iTunes?
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